Recap on the CLARIN Café on the Rights of Data Subjects in Language Resources

Submitted by on 8 April 2021


The CLARIN Café, titled “CLARIN Café on the Rights of Data Subjects in Language Resources”, took place via Zoom on 30 March 2021 and was organized as a joint collaboration between CLARIN  and the project TRIPLE. It was attended by 50 participants, including language researchers and legal experts from both CLARIN institutions and the private sector. 

Introducing CLARIN ERIC and TRIPLE

The Café was introduced by Francesca Frontini, from the Board of Directors at CLARIN, with a brief introduction on the technical and knowledge sharing infrastructure of CLARIN and the H2020 project TRIPLE an innovative multilingual and multicultural discovery solution for the social sciences and humanities (SSH) that will provide a single access point to explore, find, access and reuse literature, data, projects and researcher profiles at European scale. 

Watch the recording of the intro to CLARIN and TRIPLE on the CLARIN YouTube channel.

Introduction to the rights of data subjects in the GDPR

After the introduction,  the floor was taken by Vanessa Hannesschläger, vice chair of the CLARIN Legal and Ethical Issues Committee (CLIC), who presented the speakers. The first speaker was Paweł Kamocki, chair of the CLIC. Paweł provided a brief overview to the legal framework governing the processing of personal data in the European Union, as well as general information about handling requests related to these rights. 

Restraining and non-restraining rights 

For the sake of the event, the rights of data subjects were divided into two categories: restraining (i.e. that can cause the processing to stop) and non-restraining.

The second speaker, Aleksei Kelli, former chair of the CLIC, presented non-restraining rights of data subjects: right to be informed, right of access, rectification and portability, and explain how these can apply to language resources.

Watch the recording Non-restraining rights of data subjects on the CLARIN YouTube channel.

The floor was then taken again by Paweł Kamocki who explained restraining rights: the right to withdraw consent, to object to the processing, to be forgotten, and the right to erasure. He concluded that, although the impact of these rights on language resources seems limited, they cannot be ignored and should be incorporated in the management policies.

Watch the recording Restraining rights of data subjects on the CLARIN YouTube channel.

Rights of data subjects in academic practice

The final speaker was Esther Hoorn, a CLIC member and legal advisor at the university of Groningen. She shared her perspective on the rights of data subjects, which she illustrated with examples concerning the responsibility for handling requests from data subjects in research projects, the exercise of rights in pseudonymised datasets, and transparency regarding the limited nature of rights of data subjects in a research context.

Watch the recording Rights of data subjects in academic practice on the CLARIN YouTube channel.

Discussion and interactive survey

The presentations were followed by a short discussion animated by Vanessa Hannesschläger. An interactive survey revealed that the participants regarded withdrawal of consent as the most relevant right for language resources. The discussion then moved towards the appropriate legal basis (consent / legitimate interest / public interest) for collecting data for language resources. The idea of drafting a CLARIN Code of Conduct for processing personal data in language resources was also mentioned. In the meantime, the CLIC will also update its White Paper on Language Resources under the GDPR. 

Watch the recording of the discussion on the CLARIN YouTube channel.

Next CLARIN Cafés

Motivated by the interest in this café, the CLIC is now planning to organise another Café on legal issues in autumn.

To stay update on newly scheduled cafés you can consult the CLARIN news section, subscribe to the CLARIN Newsflash and follow CLARIN on Twitter (#CLARINcafe). The CLARIN Café page will also always provide the latest details.

The presentation slides of this CLARIN Café can be found on the event page